Our Process for Consultations
The consulting process can be a gift to any congregation. Our consulting process is tailored to the context and around the specific type of consultation (vision, conflict, etc.). While the process is contextualized, we do have a universal process we use for every consolation. It consists of three steps.
Every consultation includes some level of assessment. This assessment is done by experienced, educated coaches who have vast and diverse experience. The methods used in each assessment vary based on the context or type of assessment. Interviews, surveys, forums, and research, as well as other tools are utilized. The assessment is meant to be neutral and comprehensive, free of agenda or assumptions. Ultimately, the goal of any assessment is to give a church as much information as possible for health, effectiveness, and longevity. The process of assessment for each consultation will be explained in detail to the church leaders and congregation members.
The next step is to take the data from the assessment along with all of the other data we have and make recommendations to the church. These recommendations are contextualized to the type of consultation, the church context, as well as the long-term goals, hopes, and dreams of the congregation. Recommendations are often broken down by category and priority. We work hard to make sure there is a clear “why” behind each recommendation. We try not to make any recommendation we are not certain about, but because we are not perfect, we are not always right about everything. It is up to the church to decide what to do with the recommendations. We recommend, yet you decide.
We prefer to not just make recommendations and disappear forever. Nothing can be more frustrating to a church and a consultant to do all this work and do nothing with it. Doing so often leads to another consultation down the road that is ignored. To prevent this, the third step of our consultation process is to provide support. We want to help congregations act on the information we have shared and more as they seek to find God’s will for them. We offer as much support for the congregation as possible. Some of this support is included in the original proposal but other support is not. The support is not limited to our organization. We will always recommend the best resources to congregations, even if that is not our ministry or one of our partners. When our ministry or one of our partners can be helpful, we do include those options for support in our recommendations, but we will always gladly point churches to other organizations if they desire so that they have as many options as possible.
The goal of the support component of our process is to help the congregation act on the recommendations (whether that is to embrace it, reject it, or modify it). Our deepest desire is for congregations to be as healthy as possible, make disciples- building the kingdom and to discern what the Holy Spirit is calling them to do and be.
Asking for outside help is scary, intimidating, and even discouraging at times. Yet, we were never meant to do this thing called church alone and having someone come in from the outside can be deeply transformative.
Rev. Dr. Marcus J. Carlson, Executive Director